Pain & Gain

‘a robotic Shia LaBeouf on intergalactic steroids’

Before I start, I’ve got to get something off my chest…I love Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. It’s an irrational love that stems from watching Saturday morning wrestling as a slinky 13 year old. There’s no justification and I let him away with more shark jumping than an aquatic-acrobat because, well, it’s the Rock for pete’s sake!


On first hearing about Pain & Gain, I was intrigued. There’s a good drama to be made about the culture of ‘gym drugs’ and the unorthodox lifestyle of weightlifters, which is all branded as ‘normal’ in the world of bodybuilding. This could be a serious portrayal of the links between steroid abuse and depression, the criminal aspect of  these illegal substances and how they have infiltrated gym culture. Then I found out that Michael Bay was directing and I expected something about a robotic Shia LaBeouf on intergalactic steroids.

Surprisingly, Mr. Bay  may not be the issue with this film. The Transformers franchise is a headache of CGI action where you struggle to make out one robot’s arm from another’s leg. But if you’re looking for someone to tap into the machismo of the bodybuilding world then step forward Michael.

My reservations are more about the script which, judging from the trailer, will make as much sense as the narrative created by a child playing with action figures in his bedroom. But maybe that’s part of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s charm? Maybe he is just a big ol’ action figure made to run about and blow things up by the fully grown children who are in charge of Hollywood? We’ll have to see.


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